Construction Aerial Lift Accidents

Apr 29, 2022

Construction aerial lifts are used by many workers in New York, whether on construction sites, by maintenance crews, or by public workers. These machines are useful in projects that require workers to work at high heights. However, they can also cause serious or fatal injuries if an accident occurs.

Anyone involved in an aerial lift construction accident in Brooklyn should contact a personal injury who specializes in such accidents as soon as possible.

What are Aerial Lifts?

Aerial lifts are usually used outdoors, but some smaller lifts can be used indoors in warehouses and other large buildings. These lifts can be used for many construction projects, including structural work, and electrical, and signage installation.

There are many types of lifts, such as scissor lifts or man lifts, aerial ladders, and boom lifts. They all fall under the same workplace guidelines.

Safety Guidelines for Aerial Lifts

OSHA 29 CFR 1926.53 specifies all regulations pertaining to aerial lifts. These standards include everything from fall prevention measures to the design of the equipment.

These are some of the most notable guidelines:

  • A lift cannot be moved while the boom extends with workers on the platform/bucket unless it is certified for such functions.
  • When outriggers have been used, it is important that the brakes of the lift are set and that the pads be placed on a flat, stable surface.
  • When working on the platform/bucket, workers must have a lanyard and a belt around their waists.
  • Controls must be available on the ground and in the bucket/platform for articulating lifts. These lifts have multiple boom sections that can bend and “articulate” to allow workers to travel both vertically and horizontally.

These guidelines also cover “field modifications”, or changes made to equipment after it has been shipped to its manufacturer. Employers are exposed to huge liability if unauthorized modifications to lifts are not approved by OSHA.

Potential for Electrocution

Although falls are common, electrocution is the greatest danger to lift workers. A worker could be lifted onto or across an active power line due to poor equipment or operation. Operators may accidentally or intentionally jolt the bucket or strike a power line, which could cause the lift to tip over and the worker to fall forward.

Therefore, electric safeguards are one of the most essential pieces of equipment for a lift. Lift buckets should be well-insulated, and operators must have the appropriate training or certification.

Potential Causes of Aerial Lift Accidents

Several factors can lead to an aerial lift accident, including but certainly not limited to:

  • Defective or unavailable equipment for fall prevention
  • Moving the lift with workers inside
  • Untrained or improperly trained workers
  • Defective lifts
  • Failure to properly adjust the brakes which prevent the lift from moving
  • Horseplay or roughhousing
  • Lift equipment that has been illegally modified
  • Ignoring inclement weather

Lift Accident Liability

Employers who provide worker’s compensation to their employees are generally protected from negligence. There are, however, other parties that could be held responsible for injuries caused by lift accidents.

Lability may be enforceable if:

  • An employer acts negligently and/or refuses to pay worker’s compensation.
  • A separate employee was responsible for the accident.
  • The lift is defective.

If the safety equipment manufacturer discovers that any fall prevention or shock prevention measures are defective, they should notify the owner.

Aerial Lift Injury Lawyers

Levitsky Law Firm is the best choice if you have been injured in an aerial lift accident. We will get you back on track as soon as possible after you have been injured by an aerial lift.

Call a Brooklyn personal injury attorney at Levitsky Law Firm to learn more.